Houghton P. Metcalf (Hon. 1991) Professor in Sustainability
Critical Review Track (similar to tenure track)
The Houghton P. Metcalf Professor will serve as a faculty leader in
advancing sustainability studies at RISD on multiple academic
fronts. The Houghton P. Metcalf Professor is open to scholars,
designers, and fine artists in any of RISD’s disciplines, for it is
a core tenet of the institution that sustainability, as it
intersects with climate change and environmental justice, is
equally relevant in the fine arts, liberal arts, and design.
RISD recognizes diversity and inclusion as fundamental to its
learning community and integral to an art and design education. We
welcome candidates whose experience in teaching, scholarship,
professional practice, or service has prepared them to contribute
to our commitment to diversity and excellence.
As a faculty member, the Houghton P. Metcalf Professor will teach
undergraduate and graduate-level courses centered on sustainability
in art and design – capaciously defined in its social, cultural,
political, economic, aesthetic, and environmental impacts. Given
the centrality of studies in sustainability to RISD’s strategic
plan, it is expected that the Houghton P. Metcalf Professor will
offer innovative courses that attract students from across the
disciplinary spectrum, and work collaboratively with faculty in the
four divisions to forge synergies across the curricula.
The Houghton P. Metcalf Professor will also be a leader in
advancing RISD’s strategic goal to establish an academic hub
dedicated to inquiry and practice in sustainability and
environmental justice. Such a hub will: initiate, develop, support,
and amplify faculty and student work in the area of sustainability;
coordinate RISD’s scientific, material, and computational resources
and expertise with existing creative and scholarly efforts underway
in many departments and programs; and position RISD to secure
external support to establish and sustain a vibrant academic hub
dedicated to sustainability and environmental justice. In this
administrative capacity, the Houghton P. Metcalf Professor will
work closely with departmental and divisional academic leadership
in conceptualizing and developing a center to support faculty and
student activities in sustainability; will leverage the resources
of the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab, a unique node of science-based
expertise and equipment; and will collaborate with several units
focused on the impact of environmental degredation on disadvantaged
communities, including the RISD Museum, Project Open Door, the
Nature, Culture, Sustainability Studies programs, and the Center
for Social Equity and Inclusion. In collaboration with the Research
Office and Institutional Advancement, the Houghton P. Metcalf
Professor will help identify, engage, and solicit the financial
support of external partners, agencies, corporations and
foundations whose missions are aligned with our strategic vision in
the area of sustainability. To advance this agenda, the Houghton P.
Metcalf Professor will be granted reduced teaching responsibilities
of up to half the regular full-faculty course load.
The Houghton P. Metcalf Professor will be an accomplished academic,
at the rank of associate or full professor, in the area of
sustainability, environmental justice, and climate change in either
the fine arts, liberal arts, or design. The successful candidate
will have a demonstrated record of effectively managing an academic
program, lab, institute, or similar unit, and/or demonstrate
experience in relevant professional practice.
The Houghton P. Metcalf Professor reports to the provost. However,
for the instructional component of the position, the provost will
delegate reporting responsibility to the cognizant dean of the
academic program most closely aligned with the professor’s academic
Department /RISD Description
- Terminal degree and demonstrated expertise in sustainability
studies, including environmental justice, climate change,
extraction studies, etc. or related fields.
- Evidence of a high level of research, scholarly and creative
practice demonstrated by all or some of the following: a record of
publication and/or exhibitions; receipt of grants, fellowships,
prizes or residencies; service on professional organizations and
prize selection committees; coverage in relevant media; lectures
and other presentations.
- Demonstrated record of interdisciplinary collaboration
- Demonstrated record of involvement in innovative program or
curriculum development including partnered and sponsored studios;
experimental and/or collaborative teaching.
- 5+ years of experience teaching at the college or university
- 3+ years of experience directing an academic unit or
- Experience in grant writing and/or grant-funded
- Confident leadership and communication skills, with proven
ability to work collaboratively as part of a team.
Rhode Island School of Design is an undergraduate and graduate
college of art and design with approximately 2,400 graduate and
undergraduate students. RISD supports faculty professional practice
with sabbaticals, pre-critical review leave, conference funds, and
professional development grants. RISD has a critical review
process, which is very similar to the tenure process. For more
information about RISD, please visit www.risd.edu.
All full-time faculty are required to teach 18 credits each year,
usually configured as 6 courses. Faculty assuming department
headships or directorships are provided with teaching release to
accommodate administrative responsibilities. In addition to
teaching commitments, full-time faculty are expected to maintain a
professional practice, serve on college committees, advise
students, participate in curriculum development and other
departmental/divisional activities and projects, and contribute to
the vibrancy of the intellectual life of the college. RISD supports
faculty professional practice with sabbaticals, pre-critical review
leave, conference funding, and professional development
The successful candidate will be required to meet our
pre-employment background screening requirements.
Special Instructions to Applicants
Please attach the following to the appropriate links and the
section labeled “Documents Needed to Apply”:
- Letter of Intent – Description of qualifications, areas of
specialization, and reasons for applying to RISD .
- Curriculum Vitae
- Teaching Philosophy – Discussion of teaching approach and
experience, including how you attend to diversity and inclusion in
your classroom environment.
- Research Agenda – Summary of research goals, collaborations,
outcomes, and future plans.
- Digital Portfolio with images of professional work (20 pages
- 2-3 Sample syllabi for courses that you might be interested in
teaching at RISD
Names and contact information of three references. If you are
selected as a semi-finalist, we will request letters of
recommendation from your three references.
Rank will be determined by professional status and teaching
Review of applications begins immediately and continues until the
position is filled. Candidates who submit their materials by
January 31, 2022, are assured full consideration.
RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are
made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national
origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender
identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected
characteristic as established by law.
Open Until Filled
Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).
Documents Needed To Apply
- Cover Letter
- Curriculum Vitae
- Portfolio of Professional Work
- Teaching Philosophy
- Sample Syllabi
- Other 1